Ah, the Beautiful Game

July 08, 2013

The latest happenings from the always interesting—and occasionally bizarre—world of f√∫tbol

Ecuador

Argentina midfielder Javier Mascherano was shown a red card in his team's World Cup qualifier in Quito for kicking the driver of the medical cart that was taking him off the field after he sustained a minor injury. (According to Mascherano, the cart was going too fast.) After being sent off, Mascherano confronted the referee so vehemently that police in riot gear had to intervene.

Brazil

As rioters continued to protest economic inequality and Brazil's lavish spending for the 2014 World Cup, FIFA unveiled the tournament's official champagne: Taittinger.

Cameroon

On the same day he was re-elected president of the country's football federation, Iya Mohammed was sent to prison for misappropriation of state funds.

Democratic Republic of Congo

Club TP Mazembe was fined $5,000 for providing refuge in its locker room to a supporter who assulted a referee after a game against the Orlando Pirates.

United Kingdom

Newcastle rehired Joe Kinnear as director of football. He memorably began the first press conference of his previous stint, in 2008, with: "Which one of you is [writer] Simon Bird? You're a c---." The new Kinnear era began with a radio interview in which he mispronounced the names of managing director Derek Llambias ("Lambezi"), midfielder Yohan Cabaye ("Kebab") and forward Shola Ameobi ("Amamobi").

Tottenham star Gareth Bale attempted to trademark his goal celebration, in which he makes a heart shape with his hands.

Celtic forward Anthony Stokes was ejected from a club for allegedly punching an Elvis impersonator.

Belgium

A charity match between teams of amputees representing Belgium and the Netherlands devolved into a brawl among spectators and players—some wielding crutches. "Other than [the fight], things went well," said one Belgian player.

Mauritius

Speaking at a meeting on the island, FIFA president Sepp Blatter—who once suggested that women should wear skimpier uniforms—described Moya Dodd, who was up for the first permanent female position on the FIFA executive committee, as "a good candidate and a good-looking candidate." (Dodd won the position.)

Australia

At a press conference following a game against Jordan, national team coach Holger Osieck—referring to a female team official—said that "women should shut up in public." (He later apologized, saying he meant it as a joke.)

PHOTOPATRICIO REALPE/LATINCONTENT/GETTY IMAGES (MASCHERANO) PHOTOSIMMITTOROK/FOTOLIA.COM (CRUTCHES) PHOTOSTANLEY CHOU/GETTY IMAGES (DODD) TWO PHOTO ILLUSTRATIONSPHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY SI PREMEDIA: MICHAEL DODGE/GETTY IMAGES (OSIECK), FRESHIDEA/FOTOLIA.COM (TAPE) PHOTOMICHAEL REGAN/GETTY IMAGES (BALE) PHOTOKAGENMI/FOTOLIA.COM (KEBAB) PHOTOGARY NULL/NBC/NBCU PHOTO BANK/GETTY IMAGES (ELVIS) PHOTOFOTOLIA.COM (HANDCUFFS) MAP TWO PHOTOS ILLUSTRATION

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)